School effectiveness

Responsibilities and time involved

What do governors do?

Governing boards are responsible for the strategic management of a school and will make decisions about a wide range of issues.

The core responsibilities involved are:

  • Ensuring accountability
  • Acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the headteacher
  • Monitoring and evaluating the school’s progress
  • Budgetary allocation and control
  • Planning for the long term future of the school
  • Setting the school’s aims and values
  • Appointing senior members of staff including the headteacher.

How much time is involved?

The National Governance Association has indicated that under usual circumstances, governors can expect to spend 10 to 20 days a year on governing body responsibilities.

The top end of this commitment (about half a day per week, per term) is most relevant to the chair and others with key roles, i.e. chairs of committees.There may be periods when the time commitment may increase ie appointing a new headteacher.

For most governors the time will consist of attending between two to four meetings per term. These are usually one or two full governing board meetings per term and any additional committee meetings. In addition there will be some preparatory reading necessary.

Governing board meetings are held during term time only.

Governors also support the school by going to school functions such as open evenings, plays and exhibitions.In addition governors are encouraged as part of an agreed schedule to visit the school during the day to see it in action, and to get to know the staff and pupils.

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Last updated: 11 Aug 2017